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The AAG and Esri continue to develop a nationwide network of GeoMentors to assist schools and teachers with introducing GIS and associated geographic concepts into classrooms across the country. The GeoMentors program is in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s ConnectED Initiative for which Esri has donated $1 billion of ArcGIS Online software to all K-12 schools in the U.S.

In the program’s first year in 2015, a diverse and talented network of over 700 volunteers registered as GeoMentors and over 150 engagements were recorded with educators throughout the U.S. Program staff conducted outreach to professional organizations (e.g. AGI, ArcUser groups, EPA, GISCI, NCGE, National Geographic, NSTA), university departments and student groups; these efforts to build the GeoMentor community will continue in 2016.

The AAG welcomes the entire GIS and geography community to join the growing GeoMentor community and volunteer their skills and experience to help make a difference in improving GIS and geographic learning in schools. Examples of the variety of ways GeoMentors are engaging the K-12 community can be found through the program’s online case study collection. Visit www.geomentors.net for more information, or sign up to be a GeoMentor today at www.geomentors.net/participate. All GeoMentors receive monthly news updates about the program through the GeoMentors community newsletter.

The GeoMentors program will also have a visible presence at the 2016 AAG Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Look for the GeoMentors space (on the same floor as registration) to learn more and speak with program staff. Also, be sure to attend the session, “The AAG-Esri GeoMentors Program: Supporting GIS and Geography Education”, on Thursday, March 31, from 10:00 – 11:40 a.m. in Plaza A at the Hilton Hotel.